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  • Writer's pictureRandy Blevins

Social-centric marketing: How Our Past Has Shaped Our Future

Ten years ago, Randy Blevins got laid off from his job in the performing arts. While he was passionate about his career in the arts in Louisville, Randy didn’t dwell on what he had lost, but instead turned his attention toward the future. He set out to earn his MBA and find a new path to foster creativity and expression in the region.

“I wasn’t looking to start a marketing agency, but I was meeting a lot of high-powered people in my masters program, and through those connections I learned one of the most powerful keys to success in business – knowing how to make and maintain strategic partnerships,” says Randy. “You don’t necessarily need to be an expert in a particular industry in order to be successful, you need to cultivate the best relationships possible so that you can provide expertise and value to your clientele and your partners.”

At the same time, Randy took notice of social media and recognized its potential as a marketing tool. “At first it was really challenging,” says Randy. “Many businesses weren’t taking social media seriously yet, or they weren’t comfortable with it as a marketing outlet.” This prompted Randy to investigate more traditional advertising venues, and Think Tank’s original menu of services expanded to include a robust variety of marketing options.

Since then, Think Tank has provided marketing and advertising services for small-to-medium sized locally owned businesses and restaurants. Randy’s background in the arts also allowed the agency to pursue lots of exciting opportunities in local, regional and national artistic organizations.

Unfortunately, like many others, our business was deeply altered by the onset of COVID-19. “We lost a lot of business when COVID-19 hit,” says Randy. “But we’re using this time as an opportunity to review the business and think about how we move forward.” Once again, Randy has chosen to use negative circumstances to generate positive results. “We wanted to know what differentiated us from other agencies, and to learn more about the kind of people who are naturally attracted to our business,” says Randy, “and to learn what kind of client will benefit the most from a partnership with our company.”

Through a robust look inward, Randy and his team discovered that Think Tank aligns most with passionate dreamers – people who want to share their work, product or service with the community without punching a clock or compromising their story. They are business owners who are invested in their community and care about the quality of each person’s experience. “They’re like me,” says Randy. “They care about how they can fill their community and their souls while they fill their bank accounts.”

This discovery led to a rebrand of Think Tank Marketing that relies on a philosophy we call social-centric marketing — maximizing our values and enabling our clients to achieve their goals. Rooted in storytelling and connection, Think Tank leverages its expertise and partnerships to attract more business to its clients, even as everyone adjusts and pivots to the new normal. “We’ve distilled this philosophy into core tenets that will guide our future,” explains Randy.

These core tenets will help our clients thrive in a social world.

  1. Be authentic – Common sense tells us that being social requires building trust, engaging in two-way communication, picking up cues, and analyzing interactions. It’s the social part of social media and consistently makes or breaks a company’s marketing success on social platforms.

  2. Invest in the community – Conduct your business by being mindful of your community and your place in it. Listen, connect, and ask yourself how you can better your community. This will allow you to contribute in a real and meaningful way.

  3. Build partnerships – We are stronger together, so don’t feel like you have to do this alone. Instead, cultivate mutually beneficial partnerships that will allow you to get more bang for your marketing buck.

“This is the future of business,” says Randy. “And I owe this entire philosophy to my time in the arts, where I learned that anything is possible when you have a strong community at your side and an authentic story to tell.”

Think Tank is currently seeking relationships with established businesses that need a marketing partner to help achieve its next level of success. If you’re a business owner who has been trying to do it all on your own, you may be the ideal candidate for a partnership with Think Tank. Our pricing structure is accessible and our services aren’t intimidating – we allow you to determine how involved you want to be in the process and can adjust as your needs change over time. To learn more about partnering with us, visit the services page on our site.

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